Tuesday, October 13, 2020

With Maple Syrup

 OK, now I can start.

I had opened blogger to write this post when I saw out of the corner of my eye that last evening's dishes weren't done. Typically Joe does them before we go to bed, but as we've been staying up later and later because we realized that retirement doesn't have a bedtime sometimes the dishes aren't a high priority when a warm bed calls. I turned away from writing and set about doing the dishes. Joe had them organized, which is half the battle, and then I washed them, dried them, and put them away. I'm now back.

As I mentioned before, one of the fitness folks that I follow and work out with, he on YouTube, me on myself commented that as you gain strength and gain flexibility you need to use them in everyday life. He suggested that working out was worth little if it didn't change the rest of your life. So, I've been trying to incorporate into my day times where my strength or my reach is naturally needed. Doing dishes is one of those things. I notice how I can now reach higher into the cupboard to put things away, I notice I have the strength to lift some heavy items up an into a cupboard that has been out of my reach since we moved here.

Let me pivot here to our support of people with disabilities. We can spend so much time teaching them things in classes and then never let them use it in real life. One woman with a disability learned to make several meals during her cooking class at the day program but was not allowed into the kitchen of her group home. She had learned a skill that's important for two reasons, it leads to greater independence and it leads to a sense of contribution. I don't do dishes for Joe's thanks, I do dishes to contribute to the running of our home.

Skills matter.

Strengths aren't strengths unless they are used.

Why do agencies who forbid sexual behaviour pay consultants to do sex education classes?

Why do rights training when schedules and rules and staffing disallow or make impossible the free use of rights?

Now of course I believe that everyone has a right to learn about their bodies and everyone has a right to learn that they have a voice and they need to use it - but you can see the position that people with disabilities are put in. If they exercise what they learn they will be punished.

I know this because that woman who learned to cook, was home sick one day and the staff popped out to the store when she thought that the woman was asleep. She came back to the smell of French toast coming from the kitchen.

She lost 3 tokens on her program and the staff ate the toast.


Unknown said...

Yikes. They taught her a skill, prohibited her from using it, punished her for using it, and then went ahead and ate what she made?

I truly hope that somebody took issue with this agency's staff making these decisions. Since you're telling us the story, maybe it was you who spoke up? I hope it worked.

I'm still mentally walking away shaking my head.

Unknown said...

The fact that people with disabilities are often set to do things according to the set outframes is the real problem. I really like the blog and the point that you made. Thank you! Looking forward to seeing more blogs.